By roleplaying, children can learn so much through play! How to respond to situations, how to think critically and make decisions, how to share and communicate with their peers. Social skills and imagination combine to create a hugely beneficial form of playful education.
Whilst roleplay can be conducted inside a classroom, there are ways to introduce roleplay at home. With this in mind, let us take a look at some tips for introducing children to roleplay.
Ask the Children What They Would Like to Do!
Introducing children to roleplay is as simple as extending an invitation to play! Why not purchase or provide toys that ignite a child’s imagination or creativity? Ideas can be as outlandish as introducing children’s ride on cars, if your child wants to become Lightning McQueen! Whatever the roleplay, extend an invitation to your child, and allow them freedom of expression by asking what they – themselves – would like to do! Encourage rich, expressive scenarios however you can.
Think About Real Life Events
The best way to introduce productive, playful roleplay is to link a ‘pretend’ scenario to real life events! Real life can be overwhelming to deal with as a child, and includes complicated questions about identity, friendship, life and death. Although roleplay can’t wholly address all of these concepts, acting out scenarios – whether as a knight, princess or wizard – can offer children the skills to handle complicated events when they actually happen. This way, real life is a little less scary and a lot easier to manage.
Make It an Adventure
Children’s roleplay is about giving a child the chance to explore, experiment and investigate; gradually becoming more aware of their surroundings and those around them! Introducing children to roleplay is a lot easier when you make it an adventure. Change the setting from the classroom or living room to the great outdoors! Concoct a mystery that your child needs to solve as an investigator or detective. This can trigger critical thinking skills, creativity and confidence. Solving the mystery is rewarding, and can teach your child important life skills in the process.
Children are more likely to engage in roleplay if they are included with, and surrounded, by their peers! Playing with peers of a similar age is essential to our cognitive development in youth. Together, by roleplaying with one another, children work to enhance their communication skills; teaming up to overcome imaginary obstacles, inviting each other to play, establishing new and positive friendships. Eventually, you might not have to introduce a roleplay scenario to children at all! A successful, well-introduced roleplay scenario will have children eager to embark on an independent adventure of their own.
Roleplaying has many – both evident and untold – benefits for a young child. Note positive changes in the behaviour of your little one, and healthier socialisation with their peers.
Roleplay can even encourage growing confidence and a sense of identity. It’s fair to say that introducing children to roleplay comes highly recommended!
With these tips and tricks to hand, you will have all the tools you need to create a productive (and positive!) playful environment for your child.